The Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada has been pumping out classic plays and musicals for decades. NY1's Frank DiLella reports on the 62nd season of the festival.
STRATFORD, ONTARIO - From a new production of "Man of La Mancha" to a few works by the Bard, and of course, throw in some Noel Coward, some Bertolt Brecht and the Gershwin tuner "Crazy For You." What's the result? The Stratford Festival.
With a dozen shows playing on a total of five stages, this year marks the 62nd season for the Canadian repertory staple.
Antoni Cimolino serves as the festival's artistic director.
"I thought there was an opportunity to do a number of plays that one reflects on the other, so I put together a season about minds pushed to the edge, about madness. So we have everything from 'Lear' to 'Crazy For You,'" Cimolino says.
Even though celebrating the classics fits into the mission of the festival, if you're expecting to see traditional stagings of works by The Bard, think again.
A gay marriage-themed production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" plays on the festival stage opposite a four-person chamber version of the show directed by Peter Sellars.
"He mentioned that he had a vision for "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in a chamber piece that would sort of be like an x-ray through the play," Cimolino said.
While the festival consistently features Canadian theater greats season after season, the repertory company also boasts some Broadway and UK names.
Fresh off from staging the Globe's Tony-nominated revivals of "Twelfth Night" and "Richard III," director Tim Carroll is at the helm of the Stratford production of "King John."
On the musical side, actor Josh Franklin stars in "Crazy For You." Franklin, who has a handful of Broadway credits to his name like "Anything Goes," "Legally Blonde" and "Ghost," plays the lead role of Bobby in the Gershwin tuner.
"The thought of spending nine months up here and really focusing on not only my show, but the craft of acting and the voice, and there are so many resources here," Franklin says. "There are so many reasons to work here."
You can catch "Crazy For You," "King Lear" and more at the Stratford Festival now through mid-October. For more information, log on to stratfordfestival.ca.